Book Image

Learning D

By : Michael Parker
Book Image

Learning D

By: Michael Parker

Overview of this book

D is a modern programming language that is both powerful and efficient. It combines multiple paradigms in a way that opens up a whole new world of software design. It is used to develop both desktop and web applications, with future targets including mobile, and is available on multiple platforms. It is familiar to anyone with some experience in one or more of the C-family languages. However, hidden in the similarities are several differences that can be surprising when trying to apply common idioms from other languages. When learning D on your own, this can make it more time-consuming to master. In order to make the most of the language and become an idiomatic D programmer, it’s necessary to learn how to think in D. This book familiarizes you with D from the ground up, with a heavy focus on helping you to avoid surprises so that you can take your D knowledge to the next level more quickly and painlessly. Your journey begins with a taste of the language and the basics of compiling D programs with DMD, the reference D compiler developed by Digital Mars, and DUB, a community-developed build utility and package manager. You then set out on an exploration of major language features. This begins with the fundamentals of D, including built-in types, conditionals, loops and all of the basic building-blocks of a D program, followed by an examination of D’s object-oriented programming support. You’ll learn how these features differ from languages you may already be familiar with. Next up are D’s compile-time features, such as Compile-Time Function Evaluation and conditional compilation, then generic programming with templates. After that, you’ll learn the more advanced features of ranges and functional pipeline programming. To enhance your D experience, you are next taken on a tour of the D ecosystem and learn how to make D interact with C. Finally, you get a look at D web development using the vibe.d project and the book closes with some handy advice on where to go next.
Table of Contents (19 chapters)
Learning D
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Ranges in use

The key concept to understand ranges in the general case is that, unless they are infinite, they are consumable. In idiomatic usage, they aren't intended to be kept around, adding and removing elements to and from them as if they were some sort of container. A range is generally created only when needed, passed to an algorithm as input, then ultimately consumed, often at the end of a chain of algorithms. Even forward ranges and output ranges with their save and put primitives usually aren't intended to live beyond an algorithm.

That's not to say it's forbidden to keep a range around; some might even be designed for long life. For example, the random number generators in std.random are all ranges that are intended to be reused. However, idiomatic usage in D generally means lazy, fire-and-forget ranges that allow algorithms to operate on data from any source and minimize memory allocations.

For most programs, the need to deal with ranges directly should be rare; most code will...